In a perfect world, every day would look like this; My husband and I would have breakfast together, kiss Elle goodbye, go to work together and get home by 6pm in time to tuck our daughter to bed. We’d have the weekends off and we’d spend all those time with Elle. Maybe we’d eat out on Sundays after mass or stay in while I get busy in the kitchen. We would’t have any arguments in front of Elle. We’d have a car to go around and we’d be able to buy anything we want.
The reality, though, is this; I have a demanding job that keeps me out until past midnight and my husband Jan has one that needs him to wake up at 4am everyday. We only get one same free day each week—Sunday—and sometimes we’d spend half of that bickering. He is not home a lot. He is an Army guy in the morning, a highschool coach at night and a basketball player somewhere in the middle—just some of the many hats he wears just so we could get by. Jan doesn’t get morning playtimes that I get with Elle, neither does he get to sing her to sleep at night. He used to be the first person Elle sees in the morning when he still had the luxury to spend most of his day at home. Now, we’re lucky to wake up to him still beside us at least once a week.
It doesn’t paint a perfect picture of a family, but doesn’t mean we are less of one. We’d probably get a scolding from others who’d tell us that none of our work mattered if we didn’t have time. Sure, I’d kill for more time for us together, but given what we have now, we don’t have a lot of room in our life right now to complain. We just make do of our Sundays together and we spend it with Elle, either we turn the entire day into one long playtime in our room or we go get something to eat at the mall. It isn’t much, but it’s something. But here’s the thing, I know for a fact that if we could squeeze in another job in the middle of what we already do, Jan and I both will—if it meant giving our daughter Elle the perfect world, eventually.